How to Build a Pergola on a Concrete Patio

Written by anthony smith
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How to Build a Pergola on a Concrete Patio

An existing concrete patio can be upgraded to include a pergola over it. A pergola can add beauty and charm to an otherwise plain concrete slab. Follow these easy steps and you will have the satisfaction of having done it yourself and also save a lot of money by not having to hire a contractor.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Post base connectors with expanding bolts
  • Drill
  • Masonry bit
  • 4-by-4-inch pressure-treated lumber
  • Wrenches
  • Level
  • 2-by-6-inch pressure-treated lumber
  • Jigsaw
  • Table saw
  • Dado blade
  • 2-by-4-inch pressure treated lumber
  • Galvanised wood screws
  • Hammer
  • Galvanised nails
  • Paint or stain

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  1. 1

    Mark the positions for the pergola posts on the concrete. Using a drill and a masonry bit, drill holes into the concrete for the post base connector's expanding bolt. Position the post base connector over the hole, set the expanding bolt in the hole, and secure.

  2. 2

    Cut the 4-by-4-inch posts to size for your pergola's height. Set in the post base connectors, check for plumb, and fasten.

  3. 3

    Cut four 2-by-6-inch boards to size for use as the pergola beams. Cut a curved pattern to your liking on the ends of each beam with a jigsaw. Set the two beams in place on opposite sides of the posts and 6 inches from the top. Check that they are both level and screw into place with heavy-duty 3-inch wood screws. Do the same with the other two beams on the opposite posts.

  4. 4

    Make crossbeams for the pergola from 2-by-6-inch lumber. Cut these to a length that equals the distance between the posts, plus 12 inches. Cut matching curved patterns to the beams at each end. Make two sets of 1 1/2-inch notches in the cross beams with a table saw and a dado blade. The notches should be located on the cross beams so that they slide over and onto the beams, and then secure them to the beams with wood screws (see photo). Fasten from the top down into the beams.

    How to Build a Pergola on a Concrete Patio
  5. 5

    Cut 2-by-6-inch lumber to size to use for braces between the beams, crossbeams and posts. Make mitre cuts at each end of the 2-by-6-inch boards to 45 degrees. Place one end of the braces up between the beams and the other flush against the post. Attach with wood screws. Do the same on the post and crossbeam sides.

  6. 6

    Make slats for the pergola by cutting 2-by-4-inch boards to a length that is the same as that of the 2-by-6-inch beams. Cut curved patterns to match at both ends of each slat. Cut notches in the slats in the same manner that you did the crossbeams. Position and slide over the beams and screw into place. Space the slats at intervals of your preference. Put a coat of wood stain, paint or weatherproofing sealer on your pergola and it is complete.

Tips and warnings

  • Drill pilot holes before fastening wood screws to prevent the lumber from splitting.
  • Always wear safety goggles when using power tools.

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